Home Featured Pans Will Get Her Bands: Is A Woman’s Cooking Ability Important To Men?

Pans Will Get Her Bands: Is A Woman’s Cooking Ability Important To Men?


Earlier this week, I was checking out the SBM Facebook Page (which you should too, like ASAP). If you enjoy the comments here, you’ll love the conversations we start there too. Anyway, our social media master @TheSUNK posted the pic above on the page and the debate began. He asked the question: “Is a woman’s ability to cook still of importance when it comes to getting married?”

Obviously, many people had their opinions, and I wanted to give my perspective and bring the debate to the readers here. I won’t limit it to just marriage (because I’m not married) so I wil talk relationships in general.

*deep breath* *checks over shoulder* *performs sign of the Cross*

To me, cooking is just one piece of the puzzle. It’s not the most important thing in the world, but it does hold significance. I personally grew up in a traditional two parent household, then in a divorced single parent household (don’t want to call my mom a “single mom” because that would inherently negate my father who was in the picture too). Mom did the cooking and working and dad did the working, buying and eating. The women in my family could all throw down in the kitchin. In my development, I not only expected women to be good cooks, it was normal to me. I thought women were born with a mutant cooking abilitiy that just made them champions of the kitchen. At the same time, a majority of the men in my family either a) didn’t cook or b) made struggle food. I didn’t see the need to occupy the cooking area, because I didn’t want to mess up the women’s flow. Plus if you can’t do something right, you find someone who can, right?!

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Another point to raise is that traditional cooking mothers rarely stress the importance of cooking to men. Yes it’s a generalization, but I speak based off of experience. You are bred to find a woman who can take care of you in the kitchen, while you as the man hold her down with financial and residential security. I can’t remember if my mom ever told me that I should be able to cook for a woman in the same way she cooks for me. In fact, I know she didn’t. I believe her lessons on men cooking were more on the “learn how to make some foods for yourself so that you don’t starve out there or always have to buy food” side of thinking. Mom if you’re reading, don’t make it hot in the comments section.

So, traditionally, it was ingrained in me that cooking was a trait necessary in a woman. As I got older, got into relationships, and just became observant of the world around me. I realized that things weren’t as clear cut as I believed. Societal norms changed. More moms were pioneers and leaders in the work place. You have two professionals in relationships, and the woman’s time to do the Suzie Homemaker duties was more limited. She was getting overwhelmed, and because women are built for toughness of the house/work balance, they can get it done. A man who can help around in the kitchen is a plus to them, and he can help alleviate those daily burdens. You also have a shift in thinking where women, who may not have expected men to cook in the past, now look for it and in some cases demand it! Not to mention the harsh reality that there is a decent amount of women out there who burn water. Every woman CAN’T cook well. So what if a man falls in love with a culinarily deficient woman? If you love a woman who can’t cook, I hope as a man you can cook for the both of you. Maybe signing up for cooking classes is an option too.

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I think men should expect a woman to at least have a baseline cooking proficiency. It’s what I know based on my upbringing and experiences. Is it a deal breaker? They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Some women can get there in a Lambourghini, while others use a Hyundai or opt for the subway. It’s up to the man to determine which method of transportation works best.

Did you enjoy the perspective offered in this article? Check out our homepage for more candid content from the SBM team. 

FELLAS: Whats your take on the topic? Is it more traditional or modern? Have you dealt with a cooking impaired woman?

LADIES: How important is your cooking ability to a relationship? What’s your cooking expectations for men? How does your background/upbringing factor in?

Bring me a sandwich while you’re reading this please,

Vaughn Streetz


  1. If you decide against marrying someone because they can't cook (assuming everything else is just right) then you're more than likely missing out. Cooking is a learned skill that isn't attached to one gender. Both persons in the relationship should have the ability and be willing to cook for the other at some point in time. IJS. I can teach you or you can teach me or we can learn together. Or all of the above. Don't be lazy.

  2. It’s never been a big deal in my relationships. I’m a professional, and most guys I date are very into the idea of hat. They like dating women who hold their own in some way, it’s something they seek out and they are attracted to. They also tend to have a lot of close friendships with other professional women prior to meeting me, and have demanding jobs themselves usually, so in that sense they are pretty familiar with lifestyle and have very low expectations regarding professional women and their domestic abilities.

    That being said, I happen to be really good in the kitchen. Most would put my culinary/domestic skills at above average. Mainly cuz I like to eat and like decorating and homemaking and all that, so it’s fun for me. Also my mom didn’t play when it came to chores and stuff. So my abilities in the kitchen come as a surprise, a secret weapon if you will. However, I have been disappointed in how little this has mattered. I will say personality has been way more important as far my dating life is concerned, as opposed to cooking. I think it’s similar to sex, sex will never keep a man, and neither will cooking.

    So just like you shouldn’t open up your legs in an effort to get a man to stay, don’t think cooking and cleaning is gonna keep him around either. And this is from seine who is pretty skilled at all the above! Personality, having a (mutual) connection, and good timing are the most important. 🙂

  3. Your experience is 180 degrees from mine. All the men in my family, as well as most male friends, were/are quite proficient in the kitchen and I’m talking real food cooked on the stove or in the oven (Microwaves are only good for popcorn or reheating my coffee). I think there is less emphasis on cooking in general because much of it has degenerated into food prep. Cooking pasta and throwing some Prego on top or microwaving just about anything is really just one step removed from fast food. That said, I’ve always preferred to do all the cooking and never even wonder if a woman can cook.

      1. I am also a cooking deficient woman. I currently live at home where I don't have to cook, because I'm rarely at home….always at school/work, boyfriend's house, running around, etc. Therefore, I haven't taken the time out to really learn the craft. And my mother rarely cooks. My dad is always in the kitchen, so I don't have that "traditional perspective" of women in the kitchen all the time. This does not mean that I don't think it's a necessary skill; I'll learn when I need to, e.g. I'm living on my own and/or have a family. As far as relationships go, I can never see that being an obligation. My current boyfriend would like for me to learn but does not beat it over my head. Because there's a tradeoff. If I'm "required" to be in the kitchen then the man is "required" to go out and make all the money while I stay at home. And how often does that happen?

    1. Stephen, I agree. Like you, I have always done most of the cooking in my relationships and had no problems at all with it. I absolutely LOVE TO COOK. If I didn't have to work, I would cook every day. Whether a woman can cook or not has never, ever been part of my evaluation of whether she's a good fit or not. My philosophy is that if she's not proficient in cooking, she could be proficient in a plethora of other areas where I may not be as proficient. As long as a woman complements me in a positive manner, her culinary skills are immaterial.

  4. Gina couldn’t cook for sh t and Martin wifed her up. I’m a pretty good cook myself, so it’s not as big a deal to me. I’ve dated culinary impaired women before but at the very least I could count on them to whip up something easy, prepare the food for me to cook it later, order take out or bring something they mama cooked. To me it’s the gesture, even if it’s a sandwich sometimes a man just wants to feel taken care of.

    1. Gina didn't have to cook, she had body and looked good. Different strokes for different folks. A woman being able to cook means nothing to some men. Other things are waaaaaaay more impnt.

  5. Just like yourself, I grew up in the south and I am just used to women knowing how to burn in the kitchen. When I moved to DC, I was sort of shocked by the amount of women who didn't know how to do the basics in the kitchen. To me, while I am not a Gordon Ramsey, I can do a little something something. I will say though, it is definitely not a deal breaker. I would prefer she knew how to cook because that's what I am use to from past girlfriends and relatives, but we can definitely share the duties. She just needs to know we ain't going out to dinner every night of the week.

  6. There are a number of things that I like about women that I wouldn’t consider a requirement, cooking being one of them. In my home, my father actually did most of the cooking even though my mom could cook her ass off – as she demonstrated every thanksgiving. My dad said he learne to cook so he wouldn’t have to “depend on a woman,” the same way a woman might want to work for herself so she doesn’t have to “depend on a man.” My folks have been married 30 years so this system must work to some degree. I’m not a chef, but I don’t starve. I’d be willing to share the duty or wash the dishes or some other compromise. I will say that a woman that can cook is sexy, which is independent of my preferences. I like to eat and I also like not to spend all my money eating out, so a woman that can cook or help me improve my cooking is a win win all around.

  7. My parents raised my sister and I to be pretty self sufficient, but my father was a meaaan cook. He had real exotic tastes too. With that said, we had to cook because when they weren't around we were pretty much on our own. In my family I'd say both the men and the women knew how to cook and there was never any debate or whatever over it.
    Fast forward to now. I still know how to throw down in the kitchen but since it's just me, I don't make a big production about it. I do gauge a woman's long term desirability on her domestic skills though. If she's just a jump off all she needs is to be able to bark an order out of a window, for an LTR she has to be able to know how to make Pancakes and work a Foreman grill at the minimum. Yeah I know that modern women don't have to do nearly as much as the traditional women of yesteryear, but I take solace in knowing that she can at least feed me (and my kids if it gets to that point) nutritious, not overdone, not oversalted and not undercooked food. It's survival. Just like she should expect me to be able to change a tire, change oil, hang a chandelier or fix a leaking pipe (all which I know how to do)…I expect at least a simple meal to be made. Food, IMHO is one of the most basic forms of showing you care when done right and especially when it's done with "love."

    1. "If she's just a jump off all she needs is to be able to bark an order out of a window."

      I literally bust out laughing when I read this.

  8. I don't have a problem with a guy having a preference for women that cook. I do have a problem when it becomes and an expectation or a nonnegotiable. I moved from NY to GA and saw the difference in how men approach the cooking situation. It was like third degree the way some guys made sure my cooking skills were up to par. Southern tradition? I have always been more receptive of guys who approach the situation in any type of open-minded manner; something that can be figured out in the future, something that can be learned, a part of growing together, etc. Granted, I was once in a relationship with a person of another race. Needless to say, that race isn't quite known for cooking. The topic never came up. However, I'd by lying if I said the day I did cook for him wasn't like watching a little boy in a candy story. It was slightly refreshing to be with someone who appreciated a gesture for what it was and didn't have this pent up expectation, loved me regardless, etc. I've been vague about the cooking topic ever since (until I felt appropriate). If it's that much of a deal-breaker for you, I don't want to be with you anyway.

    On another note, I don't expect men to know how to cook but it is a turn on (for me, anyway) so take what you want from that.

  9. Cooking isn’t the only thing, but it’s important, at least to me. As I stated in the FB page comments section, a woman cooking for her man, and having the ability to cook could be indicative of other things. Some good, some bad. It may be stereotypical, but there is some truth in it.

    1. I think a lot of what men think about requiring a woman to cook is cultural. In the hispanic and latino family, Asians, Indian and Africans they are very traditional. Most other cultures the women cook and this is understood and expected. We Americans aren't so traditional in everything so I think it's a much more laxed attitude amongst American men, as opposed to men of other cultures.

      1. I wouldn't say laxed attitude amongst American men…mind you if men thought like other cultures they'd be accused of "enforcing the patriarchy" and "oppressing and limiting women to domestic roles." American women, have said loudly for the last few decades, that they no longer will shoulder the burden of domestic duties.

  10. "FELLAS: Whats your take on the topic? Is it more traditional or modern? Have you dealt with a cooking impaired woman?"

    me being with a woman who can cook is a plus. there's no way i'm going to not be with a woman whom i love because she can't burn in the kitchen. my mother taught me how to cook so i'm self-efficient. i'm more worried that if we have kids then our children will only have me to rely on to eat. other than that its whatever.
    My recent post All good things must end…

  11. How important is your cooking ability to a relationship?
    I take pride in being a woman who can cook, does a great job, and is constantly looking for new recipes. I'd rather cook a meal than go out to eat any day.

    What’s your cooking expectations for men?
    Since the men in my family cook I would like a man who can cook a good meal. Not a survival meal.

    How does your background/upbringing factor in?
    Being the oldest of 4 kids, with 2 working parents my mom taught me how to cook over the phone while she was 1. climbing the corp ladder and 2. getting her MBA. By the time my dad came home from work and picked up my siblings from the baby sitter dinner was ready or we were eating by 8 pm. I was very involved with sports and clubs at school and even had a part-time job on the weekends. My parents taught me at a young age how to have balance in he home.

  12. Speaking for myself, a woman who lacks cooking skills is a dealbreaker. The stomach doesn't lie. My view is that if me and this woman get married, we have a family, and God decides to call me home, I need a wife that can step in and assume that role without the need or urgency to replace me. That means financial, culinary, spiritual, etc.

    1. Rich, to my knowledge a family has never fallen apart because the woman couldn't cook. Now that I think about it, I think a woman being able to cook and hold it down means far more to more black men than white men. I've never heard any white men I've known saying it's a must for a woman to be able to cook. Granted they are typically more financially stable and more likely to make six figures than black men. So they can afford to have cooks and maids and eat out a lot. I think it depends on the needs of the man, and whats most important to him. To each his own.

  13. How important is your cooking ability to a relationship? – Between 1-10, I give it a 7. My bf respects the fact that I'm not a fan of cooking. But he appreciates the fact that when I do cook, its actually good. He's not put off by the fact that I still pull up recipes…or phone my Mom/Grandma…because I don't cook fancy/elaborate meals often. My kids are picky so I only get to make basic things they'll eat on the regular.

    What’s your cooking expectations for men? – Never really had one. However, I cook more for my bf than for any other man I've been with (including my ex-hub) because he's willing to help!!! He'll either keep me company or jump in the mix with me…or cook dinner for me. Love it.

    How does your background/upbringing factor in? – I have issues with hypoglycemia…so the smells can upset me and make me anxious when I'm hungry. This kept me away from the kitchen as a kid…and is the reason I prefer quick meals now. I do better cooking late at night after dinner…when I'm not hungry.

      1. How did you even get that from what I said, LMBO!

        I said, when I cook, its good, gee whiz! When I say basic I don't mean unseasoned, LOL…smh. I mean, chicken, spaghetti, etc.

  14. I don't necessarily like to cook, but I can, and I do it well. A man who can cook does things to me, on the inside lol.

    Obviously, if I required a man who could cook, I'd be SOL because most men I've encountered can't. I think men from the South care more about whether a woman can cook or not. I'm fine with playing the traditional role though.
    My recent post Are Men Less Concerned About STDs?

  15. How important is your cooking ability to a relationship? I think it depends on the man and the culture. Most of my ex's could care less whether I could cook or not because they all knew how to cook and very well. I dated a guy who was a chef at one time.
    What’s your cooking expectations for men? I definitely prefer a man that can cook and cook fairly well simply because I do not want to do all the cooking, not to mention I won't have time to do all the cooking.
    If he can't boil water he has to be "teachable" and willing to learn the basics in case I get sick or something.
    How does your background/upbringing factor in? In my family, Everybody, (and I mean everybody) can cook, men and women alike, and they all cook damn good. I honestly can't think of 1 person in my family who can't cook.

  16. I come from a family of awesome homemade meal makers and bakers. My grandfather taught me how to prep food since he worked 1st, 2nd and 3rd shifts. Some of the men in my family taught me some of my best seasoning secrets. And all the men and women in my family can BBQ something fierce. My family also knows how to make healthy foods. My cousin was a vegan and made me some vegan mac & cheese that was slap ya mama good. So because I can cook very well and love to cook and prefer to cook as opposed to eating out, I don't mind a man that wants a woman that can cook. However, he has to be able to cook without burning everything.

  17. i guess it's just a question of domesticity. men generally want domesticity in a woman- a woman who holds it down at the home front. and somehow, being a good cook is to them, a sign that a woman is going to be a good homemaker, and that's true- as far as i know.

  18. Cooking is a life skill. IMO if you're expecting to hold down a family of your own, you have to be able to cook.
    Both my mother and father cooked growing up (and well), but she took on more of the cooking as they got more financially stable. I actually enjoy cooking, looking up new recipes, experimenting, all of it- etc. But every woman isnt built for that.

    A man should know the basics, but i actually dont mind if they cant boil water. We'll be fine lol. How important it is- or isnt- really depends on the man…

  19. My nickname? The Undomestic Godess.

    My stove top is usually considered extra counter space and it's not unusual to find my work bag on top.
    The only reason I enjoy laundry is because I have an ensuite and it feels like I'm getting new clothes.
    I clean out of necessity.

    I come from a long line of women who can throw down in the kitchen. One year, the boyfriend (at the time) wrote in my mother's Christmas card "I hope "HLBB" cooks as good as you one day!" I not only corrected his grammar but his thinking.

    Does cooking make a difference? Hell's yes. I know this now because I DO know how to cook. I can make dinner for six and can even BBQ. I learned to cook because I changed my eating habits and started to eat healthier.

    That being said. I hate it. I hate cooking with a passion. But now…instead of guys thinking "oh well she has quality x to make up for the non-cooking thing" I get this:


    "You're single, right?"

    "So you don't cook, like, ever?"

    and my favourite. In the club, after just BARELY learning my name, he proceeded to lecture me about the importance of passing down "our culture" (are parents are from the West Indies) to our kids and if we were to have kids, he would y'know want to show our son how to fix the roof and things like that… even though he didn't know how to do it himself, but y'know "man type stuff"…and he would hope that I would teach our daughter how to cook "jerk chicken, rice and peas, the stuff Sunday dinner is made of"

    Yes. He did. In the club. Before even asking for my number. P.S. My mother is from Barbados, they don't make jerk anything there…

    So. Even if he knows HOW. I would say that yes, whether she does or doesn't IS a deal breaker.

    1. HLBB don't u just love it when guys u meet immediately start planning out your future together and your picking out china, doing table settings for the wedding, registries, and kids names and how many you want etc etc etc. So lovely and whimsical…lol

  20. I don't know how to cook. If you asked me to put chicken in the oven I would have no idea at what temperature or for how long. I do okay with breakfast food and salads – but hot meals? Just doesn't happen. I grew up with a single mom (dad passed away young) and she worked and went to school full time. Our meals tended to be fast food, or cheese sandwiches. That being said, my mom is an AMAZING cook. She just didn't have time to spend in the kitchen and show us girls how.

    And now that I'm older, I'm in a similar position she's in. Working full time and school full time – I'm hardly home to sleep nvm cook!

  21. I am currently dating a guy that knows a thing or two, but doesn't cook often. And I think, longer term, he'd be looking for a woman that can look after the house and kids. Which, if he's killing in his career and afford that life – I'd be happy to abide and learn to take hold of the kitchen.

    That being said, I do find guys want a woman that's confident, independant and smart….but then when they realize she's not superwoman and can cook, clean, and wants babies they're like…..wuuttt? Kinda wierd. You can't have it all.

  22. Personally, it's very important to me, and while I understand that not everybody has a cooking background, and may not presently know how to cook, that's fine. But to be not able to cook and be unwilling to learn is a deal breaker for me. That's part of my standard, and I'm not going to compromise that to accommodate her unwillingness to meet it. Doesn't mean she's terrible, but simply not for me. I have to meet her standards, she has to meet mine.

  23. Everyone can learn to cook. Those that don't know how are either lazy or just need more practice.

    By the way, this conversation sort of parallels that of how much a woman might value a man's finances. At the end of the day, it's about how much that person will provide to you and what sort of lifestyle you're trying to live.

    1. Young Heaux, you forgot those that can't cook because they never had to and never learned because they never had to. Can't put all the blame on them. If folks have lived a lifestyle since birth where they never ever had to cook a meal for themselves then it makes sense that they don't know how to cook. If nobody ever taught them then they never learned. Not to say that they couldn't learn, but what sense would it make for them to do that when they really don't have to. Many times if we have someone doing something for us, we get spoiled and don't see the need to do it ourselves.

  24. Cooking takes practice. You can cook a complete meal in 30 minutes once you figure things out. Rice is easy to cook and takes 20 minutes. A potato is 5 minutes in the microwave or 1:15 at 425° . Any frozen veggie can be boiled and ready in 10 minutes. Do a web search for anything from boiling an egg to rack of lamb and it's on the Internet. You just have to be willing to learn.
    Here is Cooking 101 for you:

    Baked Chicken
    Get a plastic bag
    Pour in 2oz each of
    Olive Oil
    Lemon Juice
    Your choice: Red or White wine or cooking vinegar
    Few dashes of Hot Sauce
    Shake the bag to mix the liquids
    Add chicken pieces, shake and remove
    Place on a foil-covered cooking sheet (a wire rack from the dollar store above a foil sheet works better)
    Season both sides with Lawry's, pepper and poultry seasoning
    Bake 350° for 1:15.
    Start cooking rice when there are 30 minutes remaining
    Start cooking veggies when there are 15 minutes remaining
    It should all be finished at the same time.

    If you know how to work the time bake on your oven, you can shake and season frozen chicken pieces and put them in the oven when you leave for work. It will be ready when you return!


  25. My personal opinion? I need a woman that can cook. She doesn't have to cook as good as moms did, but it needs to be edible. The only way I could see myself being with a woman that couldn't cook is if I make enough to eat out every night of the week, every occasion. Ordering out for thanksgiving ain't cute. I know I know, why don't I learn to cook? Well I'm already married to a woman that can cook, so I can't really speak on if I'd ever change my views on the subject. But it's just the traditional way, maybe a little ignorance and laziness on my end to just say "hey women cook, men eat." But that's how I was raised and when I was single and you couldn't cook, we couldn't get serious.
    My recent post Stay On Your Job

  26. How important is your cooking ability to a relationship? Very. I def wanna learn to throw down so I can share my culture with my kids someday. Right now, I just cook to survive.

    What’s your cooking expectations for men? It's not a requirement. I'd rather a dude be a mechanic/handyman.

    How does your background/upbringing factor in? I blame my ma and she blames my granny. smh

  27. My cooking ability is extremely important to me in a relationship. It’s one of the ways I show love. Cooking for a man is one of my love languages. Providing a meal for someone is an intimate experience. It’s spiritual to create a meal and use it to nourish someone to sustain them throughout the day. It’s a multi-sensory experience (taste, touch, smell) and it creates memory. How many people feel loved when their grandma makes their favorite dish? That’s why I don’t do it for any old man.

    I don’t expect men to be culinary masters, but I do expect them to be able to make something pretty well. I don’t always feel like cooking, so I like to know you can handle it every once in a while. This may sound crazy, but I’d fall head over heels for a man who would make my Ramen the way I like it. Lol. It’s the little things that mean the most to me.

    My upbringing factors in greatly. As a woman in my family, if you can’t cook the rest of the family will talk shit about you to your face. No mercy. I was taught to cook at a young age, and now they’re trying to get me to cook the holiday meals by myself. No way. Lol.

  28. I'm a good cook and i expect anyone i marry to be able to make pasta without burning it if i'm sick and the kids are hungry. Anything else is gravy. I don't mind a man not knowing how to cook because i enjoy cooking. But i do expect him to be able to clean some dishes! As a kid, my parent's made sure that my brothers could cook as well as i could. There are even some things they can make better than i can (but i AM the champion). That's what a lot of caribbean/south american families do i think.

  29. I'm a stay-at-home mother who goes to school full time. Depending on my school schedule I will throwdown in the kitchen as often as I can. in fact, cooking to me is quite relaxing! I grew up in a household where my mother was working and di most of the cooking, but my father was quite competent in the kitchen. I wasn't under my mother all the time cooking and she warned me that I would not find a man if i didn't cook. Once my relationship with my then boyfriend started getting really serious, I bought a cookbook, studied it and became obsessed with it. It definitely contributed a lot to our relationship. Since then I cook like a damn near professional. My husband loves it and supports it fully (lol). I think it definitely will bring a man and woman together in a relationship!!!!


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